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Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Beating the Winter Golf Blues

As the Northeast digs out of the latest blizzard, it is difficult - painful, even - to think about how far we are from being able to tee it up on a warm Saturday afternoon with your favorite golfing buddies.  So while we are stuck in the throws of yet another winter season without golf on the near-term horizon?  How do you cope?  Here are some thoughts.

1) One of the first thoughts that comes to mind is the wise advice Brother Bluto gave to Brother Flounder in Animal House:

Don't forget, as Otter says, "You should pay attention to him, he's pre-med."

2) Curl up with a good golf book on one of those cold winter nights.  It could be anything from a fantastic golf historical book like Mark Frost's The Match (which was so good it reignited my passion for the game and turned my interest into the obsession you can read about now on the blog), or an excellent instructional book to tune up your game like Dave Stockton's Unconscious Putting or Dr. Bob Rotella's Your 15th Club. Either way, getting lost in a great book is a was to fill the golf void until your local fairway thaws out.

3) "Dance like nobody is watching.  Putt like you have never been hurt."  Ok, I made the last part up, but the one part of your game that you absolutely can work on during the offseason in the comfort of your own home is your putting.  You don't need a fancy synthetic green or lots of room.  All you need is your putter, a ball, and a cup.  Don't go to bed until you hit 10 five footers in a row - believe me, it is just what the short game doctor ordered.

4) Practice your swing in slow motion.  Last year, when Hank Haney was in his super-responsive tweeting phase, I asked him how to stay sharp in the offseason.  He said to take 100 swings a day.  I also later saw him say that practicing your swing in slow motion (taking a minute for a full swing) will help to sear the proper swing positions into your muscle memory.

5) Visualize playing your best round.  The offseason is a perfect time to practice playing your best your head.  No need to make a double on a hole when you totally and completely control the outcome!  As we all know, a big part of golf is mental, so you can boost your confidence level by seeing yourself being successful on the golf course.  Seeing is believing!  I once heard a story about a POW who was trapped in a foreign prison for years.  He loved golf, and every day he played a round of golf at his local course in his head.  When he finally was released, he went home, hit the links, and played his best round ever.  Never doubt the power of positive thinking!

And if all else fails...take comfort in the fact that pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training today, marking the unofficial beginning of spring!  Golf is just around the corner....thank God!    


  1. TommyTampaFebruary 12, 2013 at 1:16 PM

    Winter golf blues? Sorry, but I dont understand...went to Golf Fest on Saturday and tried out every new driver for 2013 then hit all the irons Mizuno had to offer. Topped off the weekend with 18 in the morning on Sunday.

  2. Ryan BeckerFebruary 12, 2013 at 1:26 PM

    TommyTampa, let me know when the rest of us can come visit!

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